A nod to Eliabeth Lawrence – a fresh idea on flower arranging

Little bottles (1)

A Nod to Elizabeth Lawrence

A Fresh Idea on Flower Arranging

Ah, fresh flowers in our presence gives so much pleasure.  When friends come to share a meal or conversation, fresh flowers usually tops the list of preparations for  a festive evening.  Often times, I’ll fill a vase with masses of billowing flowers either one of kind or an arrangement of different flowers.  They were always pretty, but really served no purpose other then being pretty.

Through fresh eyes, on a pretty spring day, I learned a simple lesson about flowers.  I was having lunch with my good friend, Lindie Wilson, at the former home and garden of Elizabeth Lawrence.   On the dining room table at the window overlooking Miss. Lawrence’s stand of bamboo,  I noticed little clear bottles and vases on the table filled with fresh flowers.  Just one flower filled each vase.  It made the most simple and beautiful arrangement.  They were all different with no apparent thought to a theme of any kind.  When I asked about them, Lindie explained that was how Elizabeth Lawrence used fresh flowers.  She would fill the little bottles and vases with flowers blooming in her garden.  It was a wonderful conversation piece.  The flowers were cut from her garden.  Not masses of blooms, but rather a single snip of what was blooming then.

Dining room of Elizabeth Lawrences home

Dining room of Elizabeth Lawrence's home

It was also fun to move the bottles around seeing how one flower looked with another.  The simple tactile pleasure of moving the bottles around sprung  ideas as to how they would work in the garden.

Now, as I prepare to entertain, I snip flowers from the garden and fill little vases.  Without fail, the conversation goes to the flowers, not just how pretty they are, but what they are and what they represent – the conversation is about the delight and wonder of what’s blooming in the garden now.

Little bottles - milk bottles (4)

Helen Yoest
Gardening With Confidence

Home & Garden Business Directory - BTS Local



  1. It does give each flower it’s day in the spotlight when done this way. One can appreciate the details when able to look at the entire flower and foliage this way.

  2. Janet said

    I like it with the mirror under it to give another view or dimension.

  3. I do too, Janet. But what I don’t know is, is the mirror a Lindie Wilson addition, or was that what Elizabeth did. Hmmm, what would Elizabeth do?
    I should email Lindie and ask!

    Compost, good point! Spoken by a man who knows his way around a flower! H.

  4. I love this! I have a collection of small green glass vases on the windowsill above my kitchen sink, and do much the same thing year-round…thank you for bringing a little of Miss. Lawrence into my Monday!

  5. Now this is a practical way to display flowers as they first start to bloom. I would imagine it’s easier to clean them up this way too… Thanks for sharing. Teresa

  6. tina said

    I like that simple little trick. That clasping coneflower is really neat looking.

  7. entangled said

    I have several tiny vases, but I’ve been stuffing them with as many flowers as they will hold. Time to rethink….and buy another Elizabeth Lawrence book. Elizabeth Lawrence knows best.

  8. Jane said

    I love your blog and today it really “speaks” to me. I usually put my blossoms in little white pitchers but now I’ll have to try the clear vases. Thanks for a great idea! Jane

  9. I love this way of displaying the flowers, very Elizabeth Lawrence. She wrote so much about when flowers bloomed and liked to compare bloom times from region to region and year to year.

  10. Yes Carol, Elizabeth Lawrence was ever inquisitive, one of the many traits I admired about her. The other being, she was more interested in what others had to say, than what she had to say. H.

  11. Very nice Helen. As one Lawrence aficionado to another, I think you nailed it.~~Dee

  12. TC said

    Hmmm. There’s someone else who stole my flower arrangement idea. ;~P

    I save mini syrup bottles you get from restaurants, they’re perfect for a single bloom.

    (Never heard of Elizabeth Lawrence before now. I can just hear your exasperations now.)

  13. Hey TC, LOL! you know me too well re: the exasperation sound I made!

    Let’s see your syrup bottle arrangements. I’m sure you and Miss Lawrence you have been good friends.


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